In this episode, I am walking you through 5 productivity tips that will result in higher quality work if you implement them.
This means that when you implement these time management and productivity tips, you will get things done more efficiently and effectively than before. At least, that’s what happened for me. 😉
In addition to that, they also have helped me work with my energy, and this is really important to me because it helps me have a higher quality of life. If you didn’t already know, I deal with chronic migraines, chronic fatigue, and I have a hard time focusing, so working with my energy is extremely important. Because truth be told, in this season of life, I don’t have that much of it. So, I want to use the energy that I have efficiently and effectively.
Which leads me to do the 5 productivity tips that I believe will result in higher quality work when you implement them.
Let’s dive in.
So the very first productivity tip I want to give you truly changed the game for me, and I am dead serious.
This one was huge and I am so glad I implemented this. I think I started implementing it about a year and a half or two years ago and I don’t think I’m ever going back. So just know this is so good but I cannot take credit for this one, so shout out to Ashton Smith (@ashtonlongsmith) who taught me about this. It truly changed the game.
Y’all, I’m not even exaggerating.
1. Rotate Client Weeks & Creative Weeks
This was crucial for me. Up until I started implementing this, I was trying to create and see clients every single week and that was really overwhelming for me. I had a really hard time focusing on content one morning then going and getting on client calls and then the next day having client calls and then content. That just did not work for my brain.
Before, I would have 12 one-on-one clients and I was seeing them every single week. And while I loved them, I was starting to resent my business because I felt like I didn’t have the creative space or energy to work on my own business anymore or create content. And that was really hard on me.
So, now, I even have my client weeks and creative weeks labeled in my Google calendar. My client weeks are when I get on calls like my Queen Immersion Days, or my check-in calls with my clients or my group coaching calls. This is also when I like to schedule any interviews or live videos, or basically anything that requires me to get on video or audio with another human being (LOL, I’m an introvert, okay?!).
This just works really, really well for my brain, because I know during my client weeks, I’m going to be “on.” I’m going to be in a communication and coaching headspace, which is very different from a creative and vision casting headspace.
Then on my creative weeks, I like to pour into my own business. That’s when I like to vision cast for the future. That’s when I like to create content and produce podcasts, write content or film. And having separate weekly focuses really gave me the space to be able to do that and actually enjoy coaching again because my weeks are separated.
I love to coach just like I love to create content, but if I’m only creating content, I start wishing I had some coaching clients and when I only coach, I start really wanting to create content again, and I knew I needed to do both efficiently and effectively. And I couldn’t do that before I implemented this.
So again, shout out to Ashton Smith because this was a game changer for me.
I want to touch on the fact that I mentioned I did weekly one-on-one calls before I shifted into this. When I shifted into rotating clients and creative weeks, I made the call to stop doing weekly calls and transitioned into a new business model.
And that has been incredible for me and my business model. I do teach my clients inside of FCA, but essentially what I’m mentioning here is if you are currently seeing clients every single week, and you want to implement this, you can transition your weekly 45 to 60 minute calls into bi-weekly 60 to 90 minute calls if you want! That’s what I did to start, but then later shifted into the FCA Model.
I’ve also found this is really fantastic for the client as well, because you can think of that client week as their preparation week and getting things ready and getting their action items together. But then the next week is really focused on implementation for them. So if you can tell, I am a big fan of this and I highly, highly recommend it.
That being said, let’s move on to tip number two.
2. Batching Focuses
Like I mentioned in tip one during the client weeks, you are focusing on clients during the creative weeks (aka batch focusing), and then you are focusing on creativity and content and curriculum or anything on the back end that you need for your business in the next week.
Essentially, tip number two is batching focuses, but not just for your weeks. for your days and for your work blocks. What “like” tasks are you going to be doing each individual day of the week during the time you are working?
So here’s an example, let’s say it’s a Monday during my creative week. Mondays for me are actually devoted to marketing.
Now this essentially would mean that on Mondays, during work blocks, the focus would be on creating marketing content for that week. Let’s say my work block is from 2pm to 4pm. That would mean that my batch focus during that work block is creating marketing content, because it’s “like” tasks.
You need to know when you have time to batch your task and then what the tasks are going to be. Batching focuses you to group similar tasks together and focusing on them. This is actually really good for your brain, because if you go from creation to client calls to admin, it takes more time for your brain to catch up to what you are actually doing and focusing on.
And it takes longer for you to actually get into the zone of what you’re doing. So if you actually decide, “Hey, I want to focus on just creating marketing content for the week.” It’s going to take you that one time to get into the zone, and then you don’t have to switch tasks. Essentially, you’re doing as much as you can on one type of task inside of one work block, or even in one day if you have multiple work blocks throughout the day.
A little recap so far is that we first want to rotate between our client weeks and our creative weeks. Then after that, we want to make sure that we have specific batching focuses for each day of the week.
3. Pomodoro Method
I love the Pomodoro method and essentially the Pomodoro method is working in 25 minute increments. You can essentially think of this like high intensity interval training, but for productivity.
During my two hour work time blocks, I am in the zone for 25 minutes. It’s like no distractions, no notifications on my phone. I’ve got focus music playing and my phone is across the room. All of my distractions are gone. Then after those 25 minutes are up (because I literally set a timer), I take a five minute break. I’ll do some jumping jacks, go outside, walk around for a second, use the restroom… I do what I’ve gotta do, but then come back and do another 25 minutes.
This has worked really, really well for me because I have this tendency to get overwhelmed if I sit down and I’m like, “Okay, I’ve got to work for two or three hours.” That is very overwhelming for me. And also a recipe for distraction, because when I get overwhelmed, I will start distracting myself with things because I have to sit and work for two hours. So, I will start scrolling or I will browse on my internet, or I will just start counting things on my wall because I’m trying to distract myself from my work.
And then before I know it, I’ve got 15 minutes left in my two hour work block and I got nothing done. So that being said, 25 minutes has been really, really great for me. However, some of my clients really like doing 50 minutes of work and then 10 minutes of rest. Some of them like to do 15 minutes of work and three minutes of rest.
Find what works for you.
Also, when I’m having a really hard time doing a specific task, sometimes I will tell myself I’m just going to get it done in 10 minutes. I’ll set a 10 minute timer just to try and trick my brain to just go ahead and get it done.
I want to move on to tip number four. And this tip has also been so incredible because it’s helped alleviate some work anxiety.
4. Read Scripture, Pray & Worship Before Work
This has been incredible for my mental health, my spiritual health, my emotional health, and my relationship with my work. I used to only do this in my morning routine, but one day I just had the urge to do this right before I started working. I was probably dealing with a lot of anxiety that day, and I just knew I needed to get into Scripture.
I read one chapter out loud, pray and sing a worship song right before I start work and ever since I have been doing this, I have noticed a dramatic difference in my well-being, in my mentality, and the way I view my work.
And I highly, highly, highly recommend it for you as well. It doesn’t have to take a million years, but like I said, read a chapter out loud, pray a prayer and listen to a worship song and pray.
This is also something you can be doing on your breaks as well. I like to do this on my lunch break right before I come back into work. I like to do this sometimes on my five minute break and I’ll make it a 10 minute break (LOL, whoops). But it’s okay I extended the break, because I’m worshiping the Lord. That’s what I need to be doing.
And that’s what I want to do every single day. So please, please, please give us a try. Just give it a whirl. I think it will change your life. I’m not kidding. It will, because it’s Jesus.
5. Set Appropriate Boundaries
This is going to look very different for everyone, but I wanted to give you a few boundaries that I have set just because.
One of the hardest boundaries I had to put in place was that I only take calls during certain times. I do not stay up really late at night. I don’t do early mornings. I have specific call times now, and that is a hard boundary for me specifically, because I deal with chronic migraines, chronic fatigue and lack of focus.
And I know if I’m doing it outside of the particular timeframe, it’s more than likely going to trigger a migraine. And I, for one, don’t want to do that to myself and also don’t want to do that to my clients because when I coach them, I want to show up as my best for them. And when my migraines are triggered, I’m not at my best.
And so I know if I’m not setting those hard boundaries, I’m not going to show up the same way I would if I didn’t have. I’m going to be showing up differently. So, I had to put that in place for myself and for my clients.
Now with that, I’ve also set boundaries on my work hours. I don’t work outside of certain times except every once in a while.
If I have a deadline or something’s coming up in my personal life, I will work outside of those times. If I have to take a random day off and need to work on a Saturday, I will do it if I have to. That is the beauty of having your own business, but I also want to put boundaries and parameters in place when I know I’m not going to be working.
And this is really, really critical for having that “work-life balance.”
Now, another boundary that I have put in place involves the phone and this typically rotates between three different things.
The very first one is to limit your notifications on your phone.
Just silence things. Silence all the notifications. Sometimes this works really well for me, sometimes it doesn’t. I have actually personally found that when I turn my notifications off, I have a tendency to go to the apps and just check my notifications more frequently than I would if I had my notifications turned on. I know that sounds crazy, but that’s the truth. But I mentioned that just in case it would work for you.
Now, the other option is to actually delete your apps. So for me, that includes apps like Instagram, Facebook, Messenger, and Voxer. After my work hours, I have found that if I just delete all these apps off my phone, it works wonders.
The messages will still be there when I re-download the apps or when I log into it on the computer. This is wonderful because it keeps me from going to the apps and just checking.
A little disclaimer here though. If you have reels on Instagram saved as drafts, please do not delete your app. Please save all the reels to your phone first and then delete the app.
If you delete the app when you have reels saved, it will delete your drafts. So, please make sure to save them to your phone before you do that. Just wanted to throw that out there just in case, but essentially when I am not working, I do like to implement this by just deleting all four of those apps that I had mentioned.
And then another way I like to set boundaries on my phone is to turn off my phone.
Typically, I like to turn my phone off when I am in my creative flow. If I am working on podcast content, or anything that requires creative focus, I like to turn my phone off.
That has been huge. But because it’s during my work hours, I don’t just want to delete the apps and then have to re-download it when I stop my creative work block. But I like to turn my phone off so I can stay focused with what my task is for that moment.
And so next up, I have two more boundaries I want to share with you before we wrap up this episode.
This next boundary is to take breaks.
While working, you may be like, “that’s not a boundary,” but is a boundary because I have this tendency to just keep working and sometimes I don’t take breaks. Then all of a sudden my blood sugar will just drop. And then I’ve got this headache that turns into a migraine and it becomes a hot mess express over here.
So, please take breaks while you work, and take breaks before you think you need a break. This whole idea of taking a break before I think I need a break has been huge, because I need a little bit more energy. I don’t want to work myself in my ground where I feel burnt out from that day. I want to keep my energy high.
That’s why I love using the Pomodoro method where I work for 25 minute increments and then take a break. And sometimes I take longer breaks than five minutes. I need those breaks or I’m going to get really worn down.
And during those breaks, I always like to try and get in some movement or get outside, and if I can, get into Scripture. I also like to eat some healthy snacks and drink some electrolytes because my brain needs those things. If I’m going to keep being creative and keep up with the high energy, I need to do this.
I don’t need a crash. So, that’s why these breaks are critical and why it is a hard boundary for me.
With that being said, please make sure you are taking breaks and have enough space to take breaks between client calls. If you have client calls, this has also been a learning process for me. I promise your brain will thank you later.
Now, my last boundary is to take one day a week with absolutely no work at all. This is your…
I have personally loved incorporating a Sabbath day. Honoring the Sabbath day has made such a difference. Not just in my productivity levels or how much I get done, but in my well-being and in my spiritual life, because a true Sabbath is meant to honor the Lord.
That is what it’s meant to be. It’s not meant to be a day where you don’t work. Yes, it’s important to not work, but take the time to truly honor the Lord.
That could look like going on a hike, that could look like dancing, or that could look like being with your friends. Just don’t forget the true meaning of Sabbath is it’s not just to not work–it’s to honor Him, to honor His creation, and to honor what He is doing in you and in others.
So, remember the Sabbath. This is so important, and this has been critical for me to implement in my life.
Not just for my business, but for my relationship with him.
And so now that you know these five productivity tips, it is time to take intentional aligned action towards building your business. And this is exactly why I created Faith Fueled Coach Academy.
This is exactly why I created Faith-Fueled Coach Academy–to help women like you finally go full-time online in their coaching business with the Holy Spirit leading us both. If you are ready to start and/or scale your faith-fueled coaching business, head on over to www.hannahbrindley.com/fca to learn more about the program, and get on the waitlist for when we launch again.
And of course, if you have any questions about the program, or just want to talk things over, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me over on Instagram @hannahbrindley or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are curious on how I coach, I highly recommend checking my FREE Attract Your Queendom training. This training takes an immersive approach to attracting your ideal client to you, so you can then create content that attracts clients to you efficiently and effectively. I’ve had multiple people tell me this training alone has changed the game for them! If you go through it, please send me a DM over on Instagram (@hannahbrindley) and let me know your thoughts!